Ontario has the largest population of canada"s regions. It has always been the economic engine of the country but in 2009 it received equalization payments from the federal government for the first time ever. Ontario is larger than most countries (over 1 million sq. km). Only 7% of its population lives in northern ontario. The niagara escarpment contains the most variable topography in southern ontario. Summers in southern ontario are hot and humid. In winter, invasions of arctic air masses bring cold temperatures and bitter wind chills. Southern ontario has over half of the highest-quality agricultural land (class 1) in. The french founded the first settlement in 1749 across the river from detroit and named it petite c te (this is present-day windsor): d" troit = the strait. In the late 1700s, british loyalists began settling throughout southern ontario. Tension between britain and the u. s. resulted in several battles (war of 1812). This ended the influx of american settlers.